Work Continues to Fight EU Cheese Name Monopoly Tactics

As a part of NMPF’s continued fight to preserve U.S. dairy companies’ rights to use common food names like “parmesan” and “feta,” NMPF highlighted for the U.S. government examples of continued European Union abuse of geographical indicators (GIs) to seize market share in third-country markets. NMPF provided several examples of GI misuse in Jan. 31 comments for USTR’s Annual Special 301 Report on intellectual property issues. The comments pointed to a more detailed filing from the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), the independent, international organization staffed by NMPF’s trade policy team.

The CCFN comments urged the administration to fight the EU’s name monopolization effort by securing “firm and explicit commitments assuring the future use of specific generic food and beverage terms” from U.S. trade partners. This approach has strong bipartisan support in Congress – in letters NMPF and CCFN spearheaded in 2020, over 160 Senators and Representatives called for a proactive approach to common name protections to foster a more equal playing field for American-made products in international markets.